The chances are that if you’re travelling with a mate you’re gonna down a few pints along the way. When you’re in a nation that loves beer as much as the UK does it’s hard to avoid the stuff, with pubs on every corner, even in the tiniest of remote towns.
And you know what they say – if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. Britain’s home to some of the best breweries on the planet, with craft ale breweries springing up all over, from the Highlands of Scotland to the nitty gritty East End of London. So now’s the perfect time to tickle those tastebuds with some tasty beersuds and work a beer tour into your UK travel plans.
Here’s our guide to some of the best beer and brewery tours in the country.
East Anglia is packed full of breweries, so this is a great place to start. There’s Bartrams, Adnams, and Greene King to name just a few of the biggies, and all run tours all year round. There’s a great guide to the best beer tours around East Anglia over at the Choice Hotels blog just now, including details of some top notch beer festivals – so you can book that trip to coincide with an almighty beerfest too.
Adnams Brewery motif by Shirokazan
Now this is the city to visit if you’re looking for cutting edge brews. More and more craft breweries are popping up all over the capital, especially in the trendy East End, but also in the South. Some of our favourites include The Kernel in Bermondsey. Its owner is a self-described ‘beer fascist’, and won’t sell beer that’s more than eight weeks old because it loses its fresh, hoppy aroma. Then there’s the Five Points Brewery in Hackney – one of the latest to open in the city, and located right next to Hackney Central Station. Check out their website for the latest tours and open days, when they lay on food, bands and DJs too.
Oak barrels at The Kernel by Bernt Rostad
Devon and Cornwall
If you’re heading south west then you’re in luck – this is prime real ale country! As well as the land of scrumpy (that’s killer farm cider to you), if you’re feeling brave enough. For the ultimate tour, check out the Real Rail Ale Trail. It takes in 20 great St Austell Brewery pubs across Cornwall that you can reach by rail, handpicked by Head Brewer Roger Ryman. As well as touring some of the most beautiful parts of England, it’s also a far safer way to travel when you’ve had a tipple or two.